They are just like you and your friends - only funnier and making a very successful career out of being themselves. You know them best as “Sal” (Sal Vulcano), “Murr” (James Murray), “Q” (Brian Quinn) and “Joe” (Joe Gatto) from their hit tru TV show, "Impractical Jokers." But you may not know that they are also known as the four-man, improvisational group - The Tenderloins. The New York based troupe met in high school in 1990, went to separate colleges, regrouped after graduating and have been performing both on stage and on camera ever since.
They knew that they were destined for stardom when they decided to post cell phone taped videos of their comedy sketches and public improvisation challenges on MySpace and YouTube, which very quickly rose in popularity and garnered much positive feedback.
“I think our style of comedy is a little bit silly, a little bit clever and a little bit edgy,” stated James, the best-dressed and notoriously crafty of the troupe. “And it all comes together and creates a very family-friendly comedy show.”
Contrary to popular belief, The Tenderloins did not get their big break as reality show celebrities until many years of doing live stage shows and pitching previous shows to both A&E and Spike TV until they finally found their home at truTV.
“We are a 10-year, over-night sensation,” joked James Murray via phone interview from New York in between show tapings.
The basis of the reality show is that the lifelong friends compete in various challenges that push the limits of their own discomforts, fears, and social taboos to meet various goals. If they lose, they face punishment as designed by the remaining players. In their own words, “If you refuse, you lose.”
Previous “punishments” include: Murr legally marrying Sal’s sister, Sal having to face his personal fears of creepy kids and cats in a corn maze, Joe being touted as a master escape artist who essentially fails horribly in front of a paying audience that heckles and walks out on him, and Q teaching sex-ed in an audience consisting of his very own parents.
“It’s not a dare show- it’s not even a prank show. It’s not a show about what we will do, it’s about what we won’t do,” explained James. “When we fail at doing something, that’s funnier than when we succeed.”
The Impractical Jokers featuring the Tenderloin Comedy Troupe will be presented for the first time in Southern California at The Grove of Anaheim on Saturday night.
“You know you’ve made it as a comedian when you get to do an LA show,” exclaimed James.
Due to popular demand, the group will be performing two shows on Saturday, January 17th at 8pm (sold out) and 10:30pm (tickets are still available) at the Grove of Anaheim. It’ll be a night of hanging with the crew, hearing behind the scenes stories and seeing exclusive footage that you can’t see anywhere else.
And if you’ve been struggling with major withdrawals since the previous season of Impractical Jokers, you’re about to get more than you can handle. The fourth season of the show promises to be the best yet with all celebrity episode, live Time Square punishment, an episode filmed in Miami and on a cruise ship, the filming of an Impractical Jokers movie and full US Tour. 2015 is definitely the year of the Joker.
If you still can’t wait to get more of the guys you can learn more about them, find tour dates, and purchase merchandise by checking out their website at TheTenderloins.com or the Impractical Jokers page at TruTV website (truTV.com), add them on twitter (@truTVjokers, @thetenderloins, @jamesmurray, @BQQuin, @SalVulcano, @Joe_Gatto) or download The Tenderloin podcast. Be sure to also check out side projects featuring members of the Tenderloin comedy group such as The What Say You? podcast hosted by Sal Volcano and Brian Quinn or the Tell Them Steve-Dave podcast featuring Brian Quinn.